How to write legendary farewell emails
For many people leaving a company is a common event. According to official data, we change 12 jobs on average in our life time. That’s somewhere between 500 and 900 people that we work with throughout our careers.
But what happens when we need to write that farewell email and send it to some hundreds of people? The same people we shared lunch with last week. There are three common paths:
don’t send that email and just quietly leave
send a short “thank you, let’s connect on LinkedIn“ email
write a personal email and make people feel special
Now, most of us probably received (or not) such emails already. Which one was most memorable? Which one made did you thoroughly read? I bet it’s the last one.
The email which was addressed to the person “you“ and not “to the colleague I don’t care about”.
However, it’s surprising how much more common the other two alternatives are - people either ghosting or sending the standard “was nice working with you“ email.
It’s convenient in many ways, isn’t it?
We don’t have to give explanations, we don’t have to feel guilty for putting extra workload on the others, we free up time for the new social contacts. But is this really how we want to finish our chapter? As if it didn’t matter whether we were there or not?
There is another way.
For my last job, when the time came, I decided not to throw out of the window all the personal relationships I have built. Instead, I decided to share with them many of my resources for improvement, inspiration and fun. And the result was that people were emailing me back with things like:
“The goodbye mail was legendary! I am inspired to use parts of it whenever I write on!”
“Thank you for your email – and what a great one it was!”
“WOW!!! Amazing good bye email!! Thanks for sharing it.”
How many times have you received such a reaction?
How many people have called your emails “legendary“?
It was a first for me. And it felt good not just for my ego, but also for my feeling of purpose. Because it was a sign I managed to transfer something valuable I knew to the people I value.
Having said that, below I’m sharing that email and I hope it serves as an example of one possible way you can retain the relationships you build throughout your career. It is a long read, it has plenty of information to digest, the links are not so pretty either, and yet - it made people happy.
It is personal and I meant every word of it, and that makes all the difference. So go ahead and see how it makes you feel. And then be that person who sends such emails, even when leaving the company.
Subject: My gift for you - the best resources before I leave*
I always found it a bit uneasy when people send their "goodbye" emails their last day. Somehow it cuts it short and doesn't give you the opportunity to reach back. So that's not what I'm gonna do.
As you can guess by now, I will be leaving the company and my very own VVA Group team at the end of the month. Actually the 25th of June will be my last working day.
It was 2.5 years ago, shortly after I had met Jussi Rissanen at the first ever Chatbot conference in Europe, I arrived at Vodafone. At the event I had distributed my business cards in key places - for example the male and female bathrooms. Guerilla marketing at my best, I had to make sure people can find me.
And it worked - a tall, scary man approached me, showed me a demo on his phone and invited me to build that demo into reality. And this was exactly what we did.
Today I'm very grateful to all the opportunities I was given and happy I could contribute as much as I could to put the VVA on four borders - UK, Germany, India and Turkey. VVA is its own country in the Vodafone world, with its own people and its own agenda. To have been part of that place means a world to me. But especially to have worked, smiled and cried with its people - you, ladies and gentleman.
Now, before I leave, I have something for you - my heritage. I first thought about calling it my "Leaver Pack", but I think I prefer a "Starter Pack"*. Up to you which one you like better. What I hope is that you find its contents useful and that it will help you in the quest of becoming better. It sure did help me.
Without further ado - my fountain of knowledge, my source of creativity and inspiration, my guide when I lose my path, my daily reads, the best of the best:
*** Eva's Starter Pack ***
The guru of advertising, every article is an absolute masterpiece. Short, to the point, clever. He also has two books - guess if I have them.
Same person, different blog. The two blogs go hand in hand. Hint: open the articles in incognito mode.
The best of UX research.
High quality, different perspectives, a weekly newsletter with the best articles on the web.
Tech strategy, business and analysis
Free weekly article, paid daily newsletter (4 days per week, $10 a month). Absolutely worth the money.
The blog of Sam Altman, a smart guy in the startup world.
The blog of Paul Graham, Sam Altman's teacher, in a way.
Daily newsletter with the latest news in tech. For staying up to date.
Newsletter - a short overview of what's up everyday on the market. Humour is a bonus.
Newsletter - a bit more in depth daily overview of the stock market.
A cheap online broker for trading.
Amazing Youtube channels
School of Life - an easy to understand psychology videos.
Jordan Peterson - if you want to dig deeper into the rabbit hole of psychology. Least to say, I recommend it.
Mel Robbins - more "get real with yourself".
Charisma on Command - good and practical advice on how we present ourselves.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - this is my book #1 of all times and universes.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - this is my book #1.1 of all times and universes.
Predatory Thinking - super creative, short, funny and true stories, just like his blogs.
One Plus One Equals Three: A Masterclass in Creative Thinking - the second book from Dave Trott.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World - in case you want to make something worthwhile.
Amazing TV series
Brooklyn 99 - comedy, super fresh.
Talking about fresh - the very founder of the meaning of "fresh" - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
I'm very Sherlocked. Love the sharpness.
Silicon Valley - a handful of startup humour.
House of Cards - for the love of (office) politics.
And I think Game of Thrones needs no introduction.
Gosh, when did I become such a TV-series junkie?! Anyhow, hope you find something new for yourself.
What is next?
At this point you may ask yourself: "Ah, such a smart, funny girl, I wonder what is she up to next?"
Good question. Apart from:
* visiting Getting Things Done Summit this week: https://www.gtdsummit.com/ (maybe I can get you access to the lectures, ask me)
* further honing my product and business skills
* getting my B2 certificate in German, and
* writing about my experience in my blog: https://www.evadimitrova.com/ (like and subscribe! I promise I'm not writing that much at all);
I was approached by a girl who has terminal cancer and needs help in positioning and distributing a kids book she has been working on the last year. (Interestingly enough, she was not even supposed to be alive this last year. A strong spirit, this girl has.)
The book was first made for her own son as to help him deal with her eventual loss, but she is now hoping to make it into something bigger and help other kids and parents as well. The question is literally a matter of life and death, so I accepted.
I'm also still mind blown, but life is full of surprises. We will be launching kickstarter campaign to gather financing on 1. July. As you can imagine, it's gonna be tough, but worth trying. If you are interested, I will send you a link to support the effort. Actually, I think I will send you a link anyway :)
Get in touch
Finally, after my email at Vodafone is deprecated, you can contact me on of the following channels:
I'll be happy to get a notification that someone added me to their friend/professional list, but no pressure. Maybe we will meet again in the future and you will have a second chance to do so 🙂
Oh, yeah, and if you also have some cool tips, websites, videos (no games, sorry) - please share with me or with the rest as well. #alwayslearning
And now - CHEERS to working together!
*The original title was “Eva's Starter Pack - the best resources before I leave“, but I think this is much better.